Google Doodle Interactive Mobile for Alexander Calder’s Birthday

A lot of people are intrigued by Google Doodle’s, the special images on Google’s homepage that usually mark the anniversary of an event or a notable person’s birthday, or even a special day. Many of us check first thing every day to see if there’s a special Google logo and if you looked already today you will see another Google Doodle, this time to celebrate the 113th birthday of artist Alexander Calder.

It seems that sometimes there seems to be a long wait between Google Doodle’s and then we get several close together. In recent weeks we’ve seen ones to mark the British architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, another that was an accolade to St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow and only two days ago a 189th birthday anniversary celebration of botanist Gregor Mendel. Today’s Google Doodle is interactive, one of the type we enjoy the most, and is in the form of a mobile. Alexander Calder invented the mobile and if you take a look a the Google homepage to see the image, then click and drag on the various parts you’ll be able to make the mobile move and swing round, just as with a physical mobile. It’s pretty clever stuff and uses realtime 3D rendering for the effect.

According to Charlie White over on Mashable you’ll need a fairly modern browser to use the interactive aspect of this Google Doodle, as it’s the first Google Doodle utilizing HTML5 Canvas. A note of caution though is that reports are coming to light about the animation causing Firefox on Linux to crash although not everybody has noticed this problem. Mashable points out that they’ve noticed it works fine with Google Chrome 12 but not Internet Explorer 9 or Firefox 5.0. I’m currently using Firefox 5.0.1 though and it’s working beautifully and I have to say I’m really impressed with this latest piece of Google ingenuity.

Alexander Calder was born on July 22 1898 in Pennsylvania, U.S.A. and died aged 76 in 1978 in New York. When his artistic sculptures and mobiles came to prominence many of his larger works were displayed in public spaces and Martin Evans of The Telegraph tells how he is widely regarded as one of the most eminent American artists of the 20th Century. One more thing, a really clever touch on this latest Google Doodle is the shadow of the mobile beneath the image. Take a look at today’s Google Doodle and let us know your thoughts. Is this one of the best Google Doodle’s so far? Send us your comments to tell us what you think.